A DECISION over whether to allow a holiday lodge park to expand has been deferred by councillors.

An application has been submitted to Richmondshire District Council seeking permission for 11 new accommodation blocks to be built at the Aislabeck Plantation on Hurgill Road in Richmond.

Initially, developers wanted to create 20 new holiday buildings but reduced this by almost half following a public meeting where concerns were raised.

These included questions over whether potentially contaminated water from the park’s drainage system was polluting nearby water courses and the noise impact of weddings being held at the site’s entertainment space; the Sanctuary building.

The scaled-down application states that weddings will no longer be held in the Sanctuary building - thus alleviating some of the noise concerns about the site - but the application still received several objections.

Many revolve around the increased impact that a larger park would have on the landscape and the tranquility of the area, while other points were raised over increased traffic generated on Hurgill Road by more holidaymakers.

In the planning documents, the Aislabeck Owners Group, who say that together they hold more than half of the tourism assets on site, expressed their concerns over a lack of clarification over whether the site will still hold parties associated with weddings, such as stag and hen dos.

They also said construction work on new lodges and building extensions would disrupt the micro-businesses of lodge owners on site who rent out their accommodation to holidaymakers.

However, the application was recommended for approval, with the planning officer concluding in his report:

“The scale of the proposals as originally submitted has been greatly reduced, in response to the initial consultation responses.

“The scale of the revised proposals now represents small-medium scale sustainable growth of an existing tourism-related business in the countryside.”

The report continues that the proposals would have no significant adverse impact on local ecology and the extensions to the Sanctuary building would have no significant landscape impact.

However, when the council’s planning committee met this week they were still unable to decide on whether to give the project the green light, despite having previously carried out a site visit.

Members voted to defer the application to go before a future committee meeting on a date to be confirmed.